Im 27 years old and the mom of a beautiful 17 month old girl.
Ive never had a very good body image, and have always been particularly unhappy with my belly. A few years before I got pregnant, I completely changed my eating and exercising habits, and lost about 30-35 pounds over the course of 2 years, bringing me down to my pre-pregnancy weight of 172, not a bad weight for my 5’9″ frame.
I got pregnant very quickly once we started trying, but had a difficult pregnancy; I was in a lot of discomfort and pain most of the time. Here is one of the rare pictures of me during my pregnancy, at about 38 weeks:
A few days after this picture was taken, I was admitted to the hospital for toxemia. After ten days of bed rest and several failed attempts to induce labor, I delivered a healthy and beautiful 8lb girl via c-section. I had gained over sixty pounds.
Its been frustrating that my body has been so slow to recover, especially since I had worked so hard to lose weight before. A month or two ago, I saw an article in Parents magazine about a woman who had a tummy tuck because a year or so after giving birth to twins, her belly was still flabby and ugly. The article showed pictures of her tummy before the procedure. When I saw them, I cried. Id been trying to hold back the negative body image thoughts, telling myself I was just taking extra time to lose the baby weight. But these before pictures of the ugly, flabby belly didnt look so foreign to me; they looked a lot like my belly. Maybe there really was something wrong with me.
When I saw the pictures on this web site, I cried again, this time out of relief. I was right the first time. My body is slowly recovering, and this is part of what it means to be a mom. So here I am today, 17 months postpartum, and about 15 pounds (and two pant sizes) from my pre-pregnancy weight.
Im still frustrated that I havent made more progress, and Im frustrated with my body because, while I was blessed to conceive easily, Ive had such a difficult time being pregnant, delivering, and recovering physically and emotionally from pregnancy. But now this is part of that healing too. This is the most liberating thing I think Ive ever done. Thank you so, so much for this space to share my belly and my story.